EARLY GATTERs OF THE AMERICAN EAST COAST
The bride was Maria Catherine Schäferin.
They lived in Philadelphia (Source: Pennsylvania German Church Records,
Volume I.). In the "Naturalizations
of Foreign Protestants in the American and West Indian Colonies"
we find on page 161 (index of persons) reference to the same or another
Since he is referred to as "foreigner", it seems likely that he was born abroad and is thus first generation in the US.
Another Martin Gatter appears 20 years later in the Philadelphia Indentures 1771-1773:
If the three Martins are related is not clear. It is however strange that we find yet another individual by this name - the baker Martin Gatter, who apparently died in 1771 in Philadelphia County:
Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Wills, 1682-1819:
His wife is listed in the Will Book as "Gather,
Catherine" of Philadelphia on April 20, 1784. "Widow of
Martin Gather (laborer)."
In the first US Census of 1790 also a Martin Gatter appears. This is Martin Gatter of York County (Mixed Township). In his household live besides him 1 "free male under 16 years, and 5 "free white females". He posesses no slaves:
In the 1800 US census the Gatters are absent in Philadelphia. They may have been overlooked by the registering agent or their name may have simpy been misspelled or falesly transcribed when the data base was computerized.
In the 1810 census we find the Pennsylvania Gatters again: Martin Gatter, shoemaker, living on No(rth) Mulberry, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. He posesses no slaves and no other free persons are living in his household. The Gatter family consists of eight people: 2 "free white males" below 10 years of age, one between 16 and 25, and one over 45 years of age... very likely Martin Gatter, the head of the household himself. There are further one "free white female" below 10 years, two between 10 and 15, one between 16 and 25 and finally the lady of the house, above with 45 years.
This Martin Gatter (shoemaker) seems to have lived until around 1839.
We find him again in the 1820 census, and in the Philadelphia Directories he appears as "cordwainer" (=shoemaker) on 19, Mulburry Street in the years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1837 and for a last time 1839.
In the early 1800s we come accross some other scattered Gatters in Pennsylvania:
However, the more information we gather the more difficult
things seem to become. There were not only Gatter males in Pennsylvania
that were named "Martin", as we can see from this Parish Register
In the 1830 Census, the only Gatter we find in Pennsylvania is Thomas Gatter (Philadelphia County, Philadelphia Township, Upper Delaware Ward). He is between 20-30 years of age and in the household live his wife (20-30 years) amd a child (male 5-10 years old).
The Philadelphia Line
The Philadelphia line first appears in 1844 and is listed in that year in the Philadelphia Directory with William Gatter, (born ca. 1795-1810). He was a cooper by occupation, as were his sons. William may have been a son of Martin Gatter, the cordwainer listed in the Philadelphia Directories between 1829 and 1839. So far we have no documentary proof for this, but since Martin seems to have been the only Gatter living in Philadelphia at that time, this seems quite possible.
The family tree of the Philadelphia Gatters could look like this, but note that the early generations are just a guess. Much research remains to be done:
A possible descendant of this line is:
HARRY COOPER GATTER, who was born around 1861 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died there in 1919. He married CHARLOTTE KIMBLE CLIVER in Philadelphia, daughter of CLIVER and SARAH CLIVER. She was born August 29, 1870 in Philadelphia, and died there in November 1952.
Children of HARRY GATTER and CHARLOTTE CLIVER are:
Recent genetic testing has shown that the Philadelphia lines very likely to share a common ancestor with the new York line presented in the following. Their DNA closely matches.
This common ancestor definitely lived before the year 1800, since back till then we have documentary proof for both of these line and there is no apparent match that would link the two. Given a common ancestry, we of course have no indication whether this common ancestor lived in the US, or lived much further back in time in Europe. Two individuals born in Europe being descending from the same family might have made the journey across the Atlantic on their own, at different times and to different destinations. Besides the above John Gatter (Gater/Gator) who arrived in 1620, this Philadelphia-New York family is the oldest one on the American continent that we have gained knowledge of. While most Gatters came to the US after 1850, this family has been established in America well before the year 1800.
Click here for Part One
Click here for Part Three
Gatter Archive 2000-2008